•   
  •   
  •   

Sport How Titans hiring Vrabel paid off big-time in his 2nd season

19:45  11 january  2020
19:45  11 january  2020 Source:   tennessean.com

Now NFL rushing leader, Derrick Henry his own worst critic

  Now NFL rushing leader, Derrick Henry his own worst critic No one is a harsher critic of Titans running back Derrick Henry than himself. “I just want to do my job very well,” Henry said Wednesday. “If I don't, I'm hard on myself. I just keep working until I get it right.” The NFL rushing leader and first-time Pro Bowl running back will get a chance Saturday night to improve on his last performance against the Patriots in the playoffs. Henry ran 12 times for 28 yards — a 2.3-yard average per carry — with nothing over 4 yards. He did catch three passes for 21 yards, but the Titans lost 34-14 in the divisional round on Jan. 13, 2018. He ran better the last time Tennessee played New England, averaging 5.

Vrabel 's debut season as a head coach was mostly successful. The Titans failed to reach the postseason but went 9-7 as Vrabel ’s leadership and This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: How Titans ' decision to hire Mike Vrabel paid off big - time in his second season .

Amie Wells and "Voice of the Titans " Mike Keith discuss the decision to hire Mike Vrabel and what the upcoming week has in store for the new Tennessee

Two years later, Logan Ryan said the coaching change wasn’t a shock to him at the time because, well, no changes really surprise him in this business anymore.

a close up of Mike Vrabel: Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel reacts to a referee’s call during the first quarter of an AFC Wild Card game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 in Foxborough, Mass.© George Walker IV / Tennessean.com Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel reacts to a referee’s call during the first quarter of an AFC Wild Card game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 in Foxborough, Mass.

“I mean, I've changed cities, changed teams. It happens,” the Titans cornerback said Thursday of his team's decision in early 2018 to fire Mike Mularkey and hire Mike Vrabel. “Coaches change, and whatever reason was the reason to have a coaching change then, it was the right one.”

Why do Bill Belichick’s former students do well against him?

  Why do Bill Belichick’s former students do well against him? Mike Vrabel, who played for Belichick, defeated him last season, and former assistants have had disproportionate success, too.It’s Mike Vrabel vs. Bill Belichick, Part II, but it’s not the first or second time the Patriots coach has gone up against another coach who used to work for him, and Belichick’s record in those games is relatively poor compared with his overall record.

Mike Vrabel takes us inside how he operates the Titans meeting rooms Powered by Tennessee Tickets.

Vrabel spent last season as the defensive coordinator of the Texans after being promoted from That decision and Mariota’s progress will likely have a lot to do with how well Vrabel does in his first Hopefully he keeps Dick Lebeau. Time to grab a new OC now but unfortunately there isn’t too many

That’s clear now. But two years ago? Mularkey’s firing on Jan. 15, 2018 — two days days after the Titans lost to the Patriots in the AFC divisional round but nine days after they’d staged an improbable comeback against the Chiefs in the wild-card round — was met with mixed reactions. Mularkey went 19-15 in two full seasons after inheriting a team with the worst record in the NFL in both of the two seasons prior (including 2015, when he served as interim head coach for the final nine games).

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Vrabel’s hiring on Jan. 20, 2018 was met with some questions, some concerns and some cautious optimism.

Nearly two years later, general manager Jon Robinson’s faith in the former Texans defense coordinator and 14-year NFL player has been rewarded.

Opinion: Lamar Jackson is embarrassing the NFL's scouting process like few before him

  Opinion: Lamar Jackson is embarrassing the NFL's scouting process like few before him Lamar Jackson's NFL heroics shouldn't be too surprising because he did similar things at Louisville. Yet four QBs were selected ahead of him in 2018.And he did that to make a point.

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel 2020 NFL Scouting Combine press conference highlights. Check out Madden 20 on sale now: https Fast Facts About Mike Vrabel : -Career NFL head coaching record 20-15 (.571, 2-1 in playoffs) in two seasons with Titans -Three- time Super Bowl champion

Covered the Broncos for two seasons with the Denver Post. Graduate of the University of Houston. His relationship with Titans general manager Jon Robinson, a former Patriots scout, worked in his favor The Titans are counting on first- time head coach Mike Vrabel to take them from playoff team to Next year will be the 20th anniversary of 2 nd & 7, a foundation Vrabel and his friend Ryan Miller

They were 2-4 to start 2019. Then they climbed back up to .500, knocked off Houston in Week 17 to clinch a postseason berth and beat the Patriots in the wild-card round,  securing just their second playoff win since 2003.

For all intents and purposes, Saturday night’s AFC divisional-round playoff game against the Ravens represented the Titans playing with house money.

Very few expected Tennessee to go to Baltimore and knock off the top-seeded Ravens, who were an 8.5-point favorite at M&T Stadium.

But no one really expected the Titans to get to this point, either.

Vrabel's debut season as a head coach was mostly successful. The Titans failed to reach the postseason but went 9-7 as Vrabel’s leadership and calculated aggression helped them to their third straight winning season.

The first six games of his second season were nightmarish. It seemed like the worst-case scenario played out with every big-time, late-game decision by Vrabel, and waves of criticism followed.

Winners, losers from Titans' stunning divisional round win over Ravens

  Winners, losers from Titans' stunning divisional round win over Ravens Tennessee jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, silencing the shocked crowd at M&T Bank Stadium. It only got more lopsided in the second half, as the Titans rode their defense and a supercharged Derrick Henry to victory, winning 28-12. These were the biggest winners and losers from the Titans’ absolutely dominant victory over the No. 1 seed in the AFC.Winner: King Henry, we bow before your greatness© Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY SportsDerrick Henry was a major reason why the Titans reached the divisional round in the first place. He rumbled for more than 200 yards from scrimmage last weekend to spark the win.

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel , select Titans players address reporters at the start of the team's offseason program.

Vrabel spent this season as the Houston Texans defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Best way someone ever described Mike Vrabel to me came a long time when he was a player: "He's What I like about the Vrabel hire for Tennessee: they're hiring him for his general coaching abilities

He went for it on fourth-and-6 from the Jacksonville 11 early in the third quarter in Week 3.

Sack.

He went for it on fourth-and-1 from the 10 early in the fourth quarter with his team leading the Falcons by 14 in Week 4.

Stuffed.

He sent Cairo Santos out for a 53-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter in Week 5 against the Bills after Santos already had missed his three previous attempts.

Wide left.

But at no point did the mindset in the locker room waver. The steadiness was an extension of Vrabel.

"Just try not to sensationalize too much through the course of the year, whether it be injuries, whether it be games, whether it be whatever comes up," Vrabel said when asked about the key in not letting a moment like Saturday's get too big for the team. "There’s nothing that you can do to avoid distractions, it’s about handling them, and that’s what we try to do. That’s what my focus is to the football team."

Ryan said a lot of that goes back to who Vrabel and Robinson bring into the locker room.

“I think it's Mike and his experience and you know him and Jon, the players they want on the roster,” Ryan said. “I mean they don't love a lot of selfish individuals. So I think with the right guys and the right personalities and his leadership, him being a team player, him being a leader most of his life, as a athlete, a person and a coach, I just think the leadership on the team and the players taking it among themselves to lead their rooms or to play for one another, it adds up.

Top takeaways from Saturday’s NFL Divisional Playoffs

  Top takeaways from Saturday’s NFL Divisional Playoffs In Saturday's Divisional Playoff games we saw one top seed look dominant while another suffered a shocking upset.A game that started out competitive saw the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers absolutely manhandle a lesser Minnesota Vikings team by the score of 27-10. The game was not as close as the final score indicated.

"I think he's got the right players believing in each other and we just take it in our own hands and have a lot of fun playing for one another.”

The Titans' second-half surge was also marked by improved decision-making and all-around improved coaching, too.

Vrabel's best decision was pulling the cord on Marcus Mariota after Week 6. Ryan Tannehill’s promotion to starting quarterback resulted in an offensive explosion. The Titans went from averaging 16.3 points with Mariota as starting quarterback to 30.4 with Tannehill.

More: How the once 2-4 Titans did a complete 180 to secure their second postseason berth since 2008

There were others, too, like resting Derrick Henry in Week 16 in a mostly meaningless game against the Saints to have him as ready as possible for a run of must-win games. He also used a string of penalties to help drain the clock against the Patriots — an old Bill Belichick trick, no less.

And Tennessee was reminded again that the Vrabel move was the right one.

"I'm not surprised about coaching changes or player changes or roster changes in seven years in the NFL. It happens," Ryan said. "I was happy (when Vrabel was hired). I love coach Vrabel, and I think he's doing a good job and I think we're playing well."

Reach Erik Bacharach at ebacharach@tennessean.com and on Twitter @ErikBacharach.

Chief reasons why Tennessee or Kansas City will win AFC title game

  Chief reasons why Tennessee or Kansas City will win AFC title game In One-On-One, Yardbarker's Mike Tunison and Chris Mueller dish on the Titans' chances of becoming the first sixth seed to win a conference title game since the 2010 Packers.Yardbarker NFL writers Michael Tunison and Chris Mueller address some of the hottest issues in the league.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: How Titans' decision to hire Mike Vrabel paid off big-time in his second season

Related slideshow:  Mike Vrabel through the years

Opinion: Packers, Titans face defining offseason decisions after failing to reach Super Bowl .
The Packers and Titans are both looking to reach the Super Bowl stage that eluded them this season, but key decisions await this offseason.

Topical videos:

usr: 0
This is interesting!